Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Home and Garden

You may be thinking, why start another blog, Wendy? You have a facebook, a myspace, a twitter, a blog for your shop (Rosemary's Closet), and several now-defunct blogs where you post random thoughts that really only appeal to you. Do you really need yet another venue for expressing yourself? Well, actually, yes I do. But thanks for asking!

So, you say you need another blog. Why, exactly? Well, I'll tell you. My husband of 7 years and I bought our first house almost exactly two years ago (I believe we actually closed on the house July 22 or something close to that, 2007.) A couple months later we had our first baby. We learned very quickly that going from childless and renting a rather spacious, maintenance-free townhouse to parents and homeowners of a very tiny house with a very big yard at the exact same time was a BIG undertaking that we were not at all prepared for. We were blessed with a gorgeous baby girl plagued with colic for the first several months of her life- meaning no sleep, no rest, very grumpy mommy and daddy who didn't have two minutes to even think about the house or yard. In the first year we managed to kill the yard, cultivate several species of weeds, and paint the inside of the house in colors that are so dark they made our already scarce 1400 square feet of living space feel like the walls were closing in on us. We didn't even get to unpacking roomfuls of boxes that were now forced to take up residence in the garage and guest room/office/craft room/gym. That colicy baby is now a year and a half old and we are pleased to report that she is now a happy, beautiful toddler that every once in a while allows mommy and daddy a few minutes to devote to homemaking- that is, when she isn't doing something stinkingly cute.

Ok, so you bought a house that was too small for you, a yard that was too big, and have a baby. So why the blog? Two reasons. First, I've recently discovered the wonderful world of home decorating blogs. They've given me so much inspiration, and possibly by starting my own blog I can inspire someone else. Second, I'd like a way of documenting the progress made on the house. We've already put a lot of work into it and it would be nice of having a way of looking back at all we've done. I could have a scrapbook or photo album, but part of having a small space is finding ways of downsizing. Rather than having albums that require storage space, a blog takes up no room and can be brought out any time. Heck, my parents in Ponte Vedra can check out our progress from their own living room! And it cuts down on the time and mess it takes to scrapbook and the cost of having pictures printed. So I'm saving money as well as space by blogging.

Why would you need to save money? Are you living in the same economy I'm living in? My current home improvement budget is about $100 a month. That's not a lot of money. Obviously we aren't going to be doing any major renovations. We also time our home improvements according to the seasons. In the spring and summer (even these hot and humid Tampa summers) we focus on the outside. In the fall and winter we focus mostly on the inside. This is not carved in stone. We did just recently paint the bedroom and I'm sure we'll be doing some pruning in December, but overall we've learned that garden equipment and plants are readily available at certain times of year so it just makes sense to focus on the yard during those months.
Trying to make my house a home on such a small budget has many restrictions, but also forces the creative juices to flow and thinking outside the box.

What is your design philosophy? I like a mix of styles. My ideal house would be a seaside, Nantucket, forest cottage in the Bohemian countryside with a relaxing, contemporary, zen vibe where a Hobbit would feel at home. Simply Wendy.

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